Smart city innovation hub to be functional by June 2017: Pune Civic chief

The hub would be virtual and physical inventory of Smart City solutions and this would be first time such a hub was being created in India, he said.

By: Express News Service | Pune | Published:September 4, 2016 1:15 am
Kunal Kumar 759 Municipal Commissioner Kunal Kumar.

The Smart City Innovation Hub will be operational in Pune by June 2017, said Municipal Commissioner Kunal Kumar. The hub would be virtual and physical inventory of Smart City solutions and this would be first time such a hub was being created in India, he said.

Kumar, who was speaking at the Startup Master Class held in Pune on Saturday, said that a high level technical delegation from the United Kingdoms (UK) would be visiting Pune in November for the same reason.

“This hub would help the other Smart Cities to zero in on smart solutions for their cities. Also, start ups can see the type of solutions that Smart Cities are looking for and develop solutions accordingly,” he said.

Pune’s selection as one of the Smart Cities, Kumar said, would be a good opportunity for start ups to participate also.

The civic chief said the Smart City project aims to develop Pune as an incubators of incubators.

“We aim to have the correct ecosystem which will allow for proper development of start ups in terms of guidance and angle,” he said. Ganesh Natarajan, the CEO of Zensar, also present at the event said that Pune start ups should focus more on Business to Business (B2B) solutions rather than on Business to Consumers (B2C) solutions.

The civic administration, Kumar said, has aimed to create the right ecosystem and by 2020 hopes to create 50,000 jobs in Pune through start ups.

The civic body has aims to have an open data policy which will help start ups in developing business solutions.

Along with extensive usage of technology, the civic body also has out of the box plans for addressing many of the infrastructure woes in the city. Instead of wider roads, Kumar said the emphasis would be on public transport which will help people migrate from personal vehicles.

“We need to have a shift of paradigm towards the problem of traffic. This would be done by addressing both the demand side and the supply side,” he said. On the demand side, Kumar said the civic body would increase parking charges and on the supply side, more emphasis would be given on increased number of buses and making the existing infrastructure more pedestrian and non-motorised transport friendly. “Soon, 1,500 buses would be hired and more focus would be put on the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS),” he said.

Pune BRTS, Kumar said, has the highest ridership in the country. Plans are afoot to have air-conditioned and wifi-enabled buses for the routes. Pune will also host the Asia BRTS conference later in the year, he said.